Cultural Revolutions

Call It Insourcing

Americans are likely to hear more about “insourcing” as the 2012 presidential campaign unfolds.  President Barack Obama advanced the term during a February 15 trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  “You’ve all heard enough about outsourcing,” he explained.  “Well, more and more companies like Master Lock are now insourcing.  They’re deciding that if the cost of doing business here is no longer much different than the cost of doing business in countries like China, they’d rather place their bets on America.”  Master Lock is a padlock manufacturer that had previously outsourced production to China and Mexico.  The visit highlighted the firm’s decision to insource 100 jobs from China back to Wisconsin, whose manufacturing sector has lost more than 25,000 jobs (five percent) since Obama became President.

“After decades of watching American companies take jobs to other countries,” an Obama-administration blog post explains, “we’re beginning to see entrepreneurs and manufacturers make the decisions to keep factories and production facilities here in the United States—or even bring jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.”

Obama started 2012 by proposing tax incentives for companies that insource and the elimination of tax breaks for those who outsource.  “We’re at...

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